We’re all stuck in the house, right? There’s never been a better time to dig into those retro movies that you’ve always wanted to watch, but never had the time for. Personally, I’m a bit of a retrophile and tend to watch more older flicks than newer ones. On Fangirlish, you can now look forward to a retro review from me each Wednesday in this column. I’ll be highlighting one throwback movie a week, offering a spoiler-free review of the film, any throwback thoughts from my childhood, and where you can watch the movie yourself. Sit back, relax, and enjoy #WayBackWednesday.
Some days you just need a good laugh. That’s been my week. Heck, that’s been my 2020. While I don’t want to diminish any of the real world events that are going on, it can be exhausting to be constantly bombarded by the 24 hours news cycle. It’s important for my mental health to occasionally take a step back and laugh. Laughter helps me relieve stress, but it also reminds me that it is possible to create happiness and joy in a dark world. It gives me the strength to step back into that dark world and fight against the darkness. That’s what this week’s #WayBackWednesday film does for me. Check out the trailer for 1975’s Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
British comedy was not something that was generally on the TV in my house growing up. My dad’s preference for anything with John Wayne in it and my mother’s crush on Tom Selleck dominated the television. When I got into high school, I was part of the marching band. There was one film that kept getting quoted all during band practice–Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Despite hearing things like, “You mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!” and “It is only a flesh wound!” on repeat for four years of high school, it wasn’t until my freshman year of college that I finally watched the film. When my best friend heard that I’d not seen it, she made sure to correct this egregious oversight post haste.
Let me be honest; I didn’t like it on the first go around. I thought the humor was weird. I didn’t appreciate the corny genius of the low budget effects. And the ending? What on earth did I just watch?!
I’m glad I took the opportunity to revisit the film in grad school. I was writing my modern science fiction class term paper on Ernest Cline’s, Ready Player One, in which Monty Python and the Holy Grail plays a significant role in the final act of the novel. I watched the film again and laughed. I watched it a second time for “research purposes” and laughed harder. I probably watched the film 10 times before I had to return the DVD to the library. How could I have ever thought this wasn’t hilarious?
Packed with absurdist humor, Monty Python and the Holy Grail does not fail to deliver laughs for me these days. I enjoy being silly and it’s always a delight for me to watch grown men being silly, just because they can. One of the things I appreciate the most about the film is that everyone looks like they are genuinely having a blast while filming it. With comedy greats like John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Graham Chapman, and Connie Booth, you’re hard pressed not to laugh.
If you’re in dire need of a good laugh, and I think we all are, I offer my full commendation for Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Just be sure to know the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail is available for streaming on Netflix.